Draculas Cabaret

Theatre Carlton
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Draculas Cabaret

Expect g-strings, pasties, lots of bump and plenty of grind

Look, it’s simple stuff – you’ll start in the bar with mustardy chopped chicken heaped onto Ritz crackers and talon-like prawn filo pastries – but what Draculas lacks in culinary fireworks, they make up for with the novelty of fishbowls filled with Vok-based cocktails, syringes filled with jelly shots and a boobtacular show. It’s essentially like a pub meal crossed with the sugary joys of a party at Pizza Hut. Three courses are all banged out pre-performance at a hell of a clip. The set entrée comprises of a chicken tikka or caramelised onion tart chased by fish, chicken, lamb or a vegetarian chill affair we’re promised “isn’t as shit as it sounds.” It's not. Grilled lamb rump arrives in a glossy coat of gravy atop a simple stack of steamed broccolini (fancy!) and mash. It’s pretty simple, but the meat is pink, the serve is burly and it hits the table hot and fast. Fear hyperglycaemia? Go for Coopers over cocktails. They're touted as “so sweet you’ll think you’re in heaven” – they lie not. GC

...and the show
The new Draculas floorshow – “Bloodbath” – is much closer to a goth-themed Crazy Horse-style cabaret than the winking schlock-horror homages of old. Out with the vampires and in with vamps. At least the club’s reputation for technical excellence remains undimmed: this show runs tighter than an hourglass corset. It features some very swish projection mapping, a lewd but irresistible black-light puppetry routine and no end of funky stage effects. Yes, the pert and nubile charms loom large, but there’s abundant acrobatic and musical talent, too. Lauren Skopalova and her aerial contortions are jaw-dropping, while the enthusiasm of the house band is contagious. Comic interludes are off colour, but strike a chord with the punters: after more than thirty years in the game, Draculas knows its audience. Still, the raunchy new aesthetic does sit uncomfortably with the venue’s now somewhat naff Halloween theme – the ghost train and papier-mâché gargoyles – and we might be seeing the start of a more thorough reinvention of Melbourne’s longest running cabaret restaurant. AF

Venue name: Draculas Cabaret
Address: 100 Victoria St
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7pm-late
Transport: Nearby stations: Melbourne Central
Price: $75-$120
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